Bridges. Fields, Herod and Coleman

The sponsors of legislation to pay college athletes for their endorsements are, from left, Sen. Jeff Bridges, Sen. Rhonda Fields, Rep. Leslie Herod and Rep. James Coleman.

Now it's up to Gov. Jared Polis to bat clean up for college athletes in Colorado skilled enough to profit off their likeness.

On a 55-9 vote Tuesday, the House sent the governor Senate Bill 123. The legislation would allow intercollegiate athletes to make money off jerseys, games and other uses of their name and image, while preserving their amateur status, despite having professional representation in the business deals.

The state's universities worked with Colorado lawmakers who crafted the bill — Sens. Jeff Bridges of Greenwood Village and Rhonda Fields of Aurora, as well as Reps. Leslie Herod and James Coleman, both of Denver.

Athletes would have to let their athletic directors know about their deal within 72 hours after signing a contract, according to the bill. The sponsors noted the legislation prevents institutions from paying athletes before they commit to the school.

“This bill sends a message to colleges across the country: student athletes have the right to share in the wealth that their presences bring into institutions of higher education,” said in a statement. “Student athletes should be able to profit off of the brand they work so hard to create and cultivate. With the boom of the social media influencer profession, it’s more important than ever to give student athletes to earn from their likeness.”

Coleman stated that the bill would allow college athletes to "earn while they learn.” 

This is a huge win and we hope that the bill will bring equity to the world of collegiate sports and allow more student athletes to stay in school without fear of financial instability,” he said in a statement.

Colorado follows Illinois, New York and Florida in passing laws to protect athletes' rights to profit from their name.

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